Ketubot, Chapter Two, Mishnah Six

 

Introduction

This mishnah continues to discuss the believability of women who were taken captive and claim that they were not raped.

 

Mishnah Six

1)                     Two women were taken captive: one says, “I was taken captive and I am pure”, and the other one says, “I was taken captive and I am pure”– they are not believed.

2)                     But when they testify regarding one another, they are believed.

 

Explanation

Section one:  This mishnah discusses a case in which it is certain that the women were taken captive and hence they are not automatically believed according to the principle of “the mouth that forbade is the mouth that permits”.  The mishnah teaches that the woman herself is not believed to state that she was not raped, and therefore in this case she will not be able to marry a kohen.

Section two:  However, if each woman testifies that the other woman was not raped, each is believed.  This is true even though generally one witness is not sufficient and generally women cannot testify.  The rabbis relaxed some of the laws of testimony in this case because there is no certainty that the woman was raped, it is only a likelihood.  Furthermore, these women are believed even though there is a fear that each might be covering up the other’s having been raped.  The rabbis were lenient in the case of captives and accepted certain types of testimony that would not have been accepted in other types of cases.

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